The past 11 days have definitely gone by fast! Probably because we have mostly just been training, eating and sleeping. Although we have had the odd trip into the city to have a look at shops or do what we are best at….eat! The team has all jelled well together with most of us having ridden with each other at least once! It has been great for me to be able to ride with other team members and they have been fantastic in slowing down to cater for my slower speeds. I have although gone out on my own to do my own program and so that I don’t always hold the others back.
I have decided that I definitely like climbing hills. Even though there is pain involved in more than one way I just seem to excel at climbing. Today I was even called a mountain goat by Tash (the wife of one of our riders who came out with me today to climb the local mountain!) I seem to just get into a rhythm and keep on pedalling.
I have just finished probably one of the toughest and longest weeks I have ever had, completing 288.4 km in this past week and finished it off with my climb up to the ski fields. It was also the coldest day we have had and with this morning’s temperature of 11 degrees I knew it would be even colder at the top. The climb went up to 1880m and what I didn’t think about was that even though the temperature at the top showed 7 degrees, that the mist, fog and wind would make it feel 0 degrees! I felt like I was back in Melbourne riding in the winter, minus the leg and arm warmers. I did, thank god, bring a long sleeve jersey with me and had an extra one for Tash to borrow. It took us 1:16 to get to the top, but once there is was such a buzz I was looking forward to the descent, although not looking forward to the switch back turns that I would have to do.
As I wrote in my last blog I wasn’t worried about going back down the mountain as the drivers are so patient and true to my word I had no problem with any of the vehicles travelling downhill, even though I held them up on the corners. They were quite happy to wait until they got to a straight piece of road and pass. I even had a Spanish rider stay behind me and then ride up alongside and ask if I was okay. Once I said I was he took off past me.
This week we have also been able to go out to the Time Trial course we are racing on Friday. It is about 60km away from our hotel, so it was good to get a chance to train on it. I love the course, fairly flat with one little blip up and over a major road, so I am really looking forward to racing it on Friday. We will be racing at about 6pm, so it will be a long wait for the race to start.
This past week has been filled with a number of different types of rides but I have enjoyed the challenges. My body is holding up but I am looking forward to a recovery day tomorrow. Then I will be focusing on the weekend and the races ahead.